Health Care: Consider the Facts

May 3, 2006

Fact: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and The United Kingdom all have universal health insurance. We in the United States do not have such a system.

Fact: Their systems provide health insurance for all citizens. Ours leaves about one in six Americans without.

Fact: On average, their systems cost about half of what ours does. Half.

Fact: We are no healthier than they are. In fact, we are sicker.

Fact: It is estimated that about 18,000 Americans die every year due to lack of health insurance.

Fact: G. Richard Wagner Jr., chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp., says his company’s recent financial problems are largely due to the $1,500-per-car expense he has to pay for the rising cost of his employees health insurance – a bill his competitors do not have to pay. <a href=”He warns that “failing to address the health care crisis would be the worst kind of procrastination” and that it “threatens the health and global competitiveness of our nation’s economy.”


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  1. You forgot Costa Rica and its universal health insurance! Obviously you never heard a Howard Dean stump speech!

    A foreign automaker (I forget which one) recently was deciding whether to build a new assembly plant in the U.S. (somewhere in the South) or in Canada. They chose Canada for two reasons: the workers are better educated, and the automaker doesn’t have to pay for health insurance.

  2. Why do you hate America? Don’t you know we have the best health care system in the world? Everyone is envious of our system.

  3. Hush, Paul. šŸ™‚

  4. Way too many potential confounding variables in the sicker thing. Americans work a lot harder than most of those other countries & we drive a lot more (as opposed to walking or biking or anything more active than staring into space while strapped to a chair).

    Not that I’m saying free health care, which would encourage more preventative care is not a significant factor.

  5. That’s a hard thing to nail down, agreed. At least we can conclude that our system isn’t lifting us above the health levels of our foreign counterparts.

  6. You forgot a couple, Scott šŸ˜‰

    Fact: All those countries listed in Fact 1 have national populations equivalent to a large state in the U.S.

    Fact: The only two countries that one could compare the U.S. to in size and population that have tried universal health care also have among the worst health systems in the world. One can surmise that a large token of the issue is bureaucratic inefficiency.

    Now, Thomas Jefferson believed his COUNTRY was Virginia while the U.S. was merely the equivalent of a modern day EEC (common defense, regulate interstate trade, etc). Being the true Libertarian/Jeffersonian kind of guy I am, if someone wants to start a Wisconsin Universal Health Coverage plan/petition/law/paper drive…sign me up! But at a U.S. level? I think this to be a bad, bad, bad idea.

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